Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 72, Issue 6, pp 1185–1196 | Cite as

Prion strains are differentially released through the exosomal pathway

  • Zaira E. Arellano-Anaya
  • Alvina Huor
  • Pascal Leblanc
  • Sylvain Lehmann
  • Monique Provansal
  • Graça Raposo
  • Olivier Andréoletti
  • Didier Vilette
Research Article


Cell-to-cell transfer of prions is a crucial step in the spreading of prion infection through infected tissue. At the cellular level, several distinct pathways including direct cell–cell contacts and release of various types of infectious extracellular vesicles have been described that may potentially lead to infection of naïve cells. The relative contribution of these pathways and whether they may vary depending on the prion strain and/or on the infected cell type are not yet known. In this study we used a single cell type (RK13) infected with three different prion strains. We showed that in each case, most of the extracellular prions resulted from active cell secretion through the exosomal pathway. Further, quantitative analysis of secreted infectivity indicated that the proportion of prions eventually secreted was dramatically dependent on the prion strain. Our data also highlight that infectious exosomes secreted from cultured cells might represent a biologically pertinent material for spiking experiments. Also discussed is the appealing possibility that abnormal PrP from different prion strains may differentially interact with the cellular machinery to promote secretion.


Prion release Cell models Exosome Extracellular vesicle Prion spiking TSE agent 


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zaira E. Arellano-Anaya
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alvina Huor
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pascal Leblanc
    • 3
  • Sylvain Lehmann
    • 4
    • 5
  • Monique Provansal
    • 4
    • 5
  • Graça Raposo
    • 6
  • Olivier Andréoletti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Didier Vilette
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.INRA, UMR 1225, IHAPToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Université de Toulouse, INP, ENVT, UMR 1225, IHAPToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire de la Cellule (LBMC), Equipe Différenciation Neuromusculaire, Ecole Normale Supérieure-LyonCNRS, UMR 5239Lyon Cedex 07France
  4. 4.Institut de Médecine Régénératrice et de Biothérapie (I.M.R.B.), Physiopathologie, Diagnostic et Thérapie Cellulaire des Affections Neurodégénératives, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale Université Montpellier 1 U1040 Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de Montpellier, Université Montpellier 1MontpellierFrance
  5. 5.Institut de Génétique Humaine, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UPR 1142MontpellierFrance
  6. 6.Institut Curie, UMR 144, CNRS, Structure and Membrane Compartments, Cell and Tissue Imaging Facility (PICT-IBiSA)Paris Cedex 05France

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